CLE15: The Role of Legal Clinics in Access to Justice in Turkish Legal Education

by Pamela Henderson on 21/06/2015

Presented by Kilinc Ayse and Akkus Ezgi Fulya from Afyon Kocatepe University in Turkey.

Kilinc and Akkus focused on how they are helping their students to develop the skills they will need to support their future clients in accessing the justice system.  In particular, they discussed:

  • the right of access to justice as a legal term
  • the scope of this term in the Turkish legal system
  • the legal education system in Turkey
  • the role of legal clinics in access to justice in Turkey, where they are considered to be very important
  • examples and problems from Turkey

The right of access to justice in Turkey:  our speakers acknowledged that law faculties have some responsibility here and law clinics are used as a practical and experimental education method in many countries.

We looked at Articles 36 and 90/5 of the Constitution of Turkey, which record a right to access to justice in line with international law.  The Constitutional rights are supported and made concrete by other tools within the Turkish legal system, such as:

  • steps making legal aid more effective
  • ensuring ease of access to information about the process of judicial procedure
  • developing a translation service in court
  • introducing an electronic process of taking suit

It was very interesting to hear a different perspective on the role of legal advice clinics and how these operate in Turkey, including a version of Streetlaw.  For example, students may be working in prisons to advise prisoners on violation of prison rules.  It is clear that the opportunities for Law students to participate in some form of clinical legal education in Turkey are commendably numerous and diverse.

There are also some very high quality physical facilities, including replica courtrooms, in order to support students who are participating in simulations in order to develop their skillset and confidence as future legal professionals.

 

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